Constellation Brands raises fiscal-year profit forecast

Fri Oct 5, 2012 9:30am EDT

(Reuters) - Constellation Brands Inc's (STZ.N) quarterly earnings beat Wall Street estimates, and the world's largest branded wine company forecast strong results for the fiscal year, helped by new brands and increased promotional spending.

The company, whose labels include Robert Mondavi and Ravenswood, said on Friday that it expected to earn between $2.00 and $2.10 a share for the year. It had earlier forecast $1.93 to $2.03.

Analysts on average were expecting a profit of $1.98 a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

The company had said in June that it would buy the remaining half of its Crown Imports joint venture with Grupo Modelo SAB de CV (GMODELOC.MX) in a $1.85 billion deal that gives it full control of distributing Corona Extra beer, the best-selling import, in the United States.

On Friday, Chief Executive Officer Rob Sands said the transaction is still set to close in the first quarter of calendar 2013.

In the second quarter ended August 31, Constellation's net income fell to $125 million, or 67 cents per share, from $162.7 million, or 76 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding restructuring charges, the company earned 71 cents a share, while analysts on average were expecting 54 cents.

Revenue rose to $699 million from $690 million.

Shares of the company were up 2.2 percent at $35.50 in trading before the market opened.

(Reporting by Nivedita Bhattacharjee in Chicago, Martinne Geller in New York and Arpita Mukherjee in Bangalore; Editing by Maju Samuel and Lisa Von Ahn)